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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:13, August 04, 2006
Lebanese Hezbollah warns of rocket attacks at Tel Aviv if Beirut struck
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Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanese Hezbollah threatened Thursday night that the guerrilla group would fire rockets at Tel Aviv deep inside Israel if Beirut was hit by air strikes.

"If you target our capital, we will target yours. If you target Beirut, we will target Tel Aviv, and Hezbollah is capable of doing so," Nasrallah said in a taped televised statement by Al Manr television.

He stressed that "the Islamic resistance is capable of striking with the quantity and the depth that is required and at the time it is asked to do it."

Israelis are surprised with Hezbollah abilities in the land confrontation that confirmed that Hezbollah guerrillas are able to stand up to the Israelis, said Nasrallah.

He explained that the last three days have taken a different turn in the land battles, as thousands of Israeli army troops and hundreds of tanks had to be on the border to stand before Hezbollah guerillas.

The Hezbollah fighters did not leave as Israelis wanted but stood and fought against Israeli troops and airplanes, Nasrallah said, adding what is happening could be considered a military miracle.

He noted that Hezbollah hit two Israeli ships despite Israeli hesitation to admit such information because of the huge psychological effect it would have on the Israeli public.

The Israeli decided to cease fire for 48 hours after Qana massacre to give things time to cool down, even though they did not fully stop their attacks, he added.

"We as Hezbollah, decided to hold any fire of missiles to give the people a rest," but these actions were interpreted wrong by the Israeli leaders, Nasrallah denounced.

Ceasing fire for 48 hours from Hezbollah side means that Hezbollah has total control on all its launching basis and an intact comradeship to be able to have a complete cease of fire for 48 hours, he said, adding when the Israeli started firing again, Hezbollah launched more than 300 rockets Wednesday.

"Hezbollah resistance can hit the enemy as deep and as far as they want, and any time they wish," he said.

But, Nasrallah meanwhile said that Hezbollah would end rocket attacks against Israel if the Jewish state stopped attacking civilian areas in Lebanon.

He told Israelis that "when you decide to stop the aggression, you will find we are ready to stop the fight."

The Israelis said they went into this fight to rectify the Israeli army image in the public eyes, but did the war really improve the image of the Israeli army's image, questioned Nasrallah.

He goes on to question what happened to the goals that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert set at the beginning of this "failure war", adding the Israelis will not be able to defeat the Palestinians nor Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Nasrallah, meanwhile, made it clear in his statement that he considers the Americans as the instigators, saying "I blame (U.S. President Gorge W.) Bush and his administration, Olmert is only a tool in his hands."

The Lebanese are not the victims of some natural disaster, a volcano or a tsunami but rather the victims of an aggression by Israeli troops and an American command, he said, adding "our actions are reactions to your aggressions."

Nasrallah's remarks came as Israeli planes on Thursday dropped flyers on southern Beirut, urging civilians to leave the area in the Lebanese capital as "bombing of the area would be extended".

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Thursday evening ordered the army to prepare for a new phase of its military offensive in southern Lebanon to push the area of its control to Lebanon's Litani River, Channel Two television reported.

Peretz's spokesman confirmed that the army has received orders from the Defense Minister to prepare for an eventual seizure of southern Lebanon up to the Litani River.

Earlier on Thursday, eight Israelis were killed and dozens wounded in massive rocket attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel.

Five were killed in Acre when a rocket landed near a house while residents stood on a balcony, while three others were also killed in rocket attacks near Ma'alot, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Violence between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah erupted on July 12 after Hezbollah guerillas captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight during cross-border attacks.

Israel has waged a 23-day-old massive assault in Lebanon and expanded its ground operations while Hezbollah has showered Israel with rockets.

In a video statement to a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Thursday, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that over 900 people had been killed and about 3,000 people wounded in Israel's over-three-week-old offensive.

On the Israeli side, over 60 Israelis have also been killed in the conflict, according to media counts.

Source: Xinhua

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